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Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1 | [Patrick O'Brian]

Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Let more academic folk reach for Moby Dick; I'll take the Aubrey / Maturin series every time. The first of what has been called "the best [series of] historical novels ever written", Master and Commander has everything a good adventure story needs: well-drawn characters, a unique backdrop, and rousing action. And in Patrick Tull, it has the perfect narrator - the voice of an old sea dog who enjoys nothing more than sharing a well-told tale. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.

©1984 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC.

What the Critics Say

"The best historical novels ever written." (The New York Times Book Review)
"No writer alive can move one as O'Brian can; no one can make you laugh so loud with hilarity, whiten your knuckles with unbearable tension or choke with emotion. He is the master." (Irish Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2310 )
5 star
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4.2 (1175 )
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4.3 (1181 )
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Performance
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  •  
    05-21-08
    05-21-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    1
    Overall
    "The beginning of an adventure"

    A wonderful and exciting adventure narrated to perfection by Patrick Tull. Now when I read the Aubrey/Maturin books, I hear Patrick Tull in my mind. He truly brings these stories to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Volo, IL, USA 04-17-08
    Ryan Volo, IL, USA 04-17-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "very good"

    Not the best book ever, but certainly very good. I recommend this book to anyone with just the slightest interest in ships, war, or history.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Warren, RI, United States 06-27-07
    Monica Warren, RI, United States 06-27-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Stunning, amazing, the best"

    This book and the rest in the series are just wonderful--lively characters and action, rich with historical and naval detail, and beautifully and wittily written. Patrick Tull's reading takes the experience to an even higher level. It was hearing Master and Commander that got me hooked on audio books for life. Even if you think naval/adventure novels are not for you (I certainly thought so), give this a try. You may fall in love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Fairfield, PA, USA 10-12-06
    Christopher Fairfield, PA, USA 10-12-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    This is an excellent rendering of Master and Commander. The Narrator brings the novel alive and brings out aspects of the book that I missed when I read it. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Goldston 08-09-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
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    10
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Great Series, Great Reader"

    I couldn't recommend this series of books more highly. Patrick O'Brian combines a masterly knowledge of the Royal Navy of Nelson's time with a sensitive and witty understanding of human nature. It makes you wonder how any novelist can plumb human character and circumstance in less than a few thousand pages.
    I read the full series of books, and have now listened to the full series of audiobooks - with great pleasure in both cases. Patrick Tull does a masterly job with meaning, accents of all kinds, and Patrick O'Brians dry humor. Truly a masterpiece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Waynesboro, TN, United States 08-07-05
    Amanda Waynesboro, TN, United States 08-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    167
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "This series is why I joined Audible"

    So I could find these audiobooks easily and a bit less expensively than buying each at retail.

    I started reading/hearing these almost at random, this, the first, was maybe the fifth I'd heard. And I do love them. They are a bit like Jane Austen--with weather and music and often terrible food substituting for houses and gardens of her books. I didn't realize quite how much until I reread/heard one of her books.

    But I think the series gets better!

    It's not at all like the movie. Peter Weir, the director, made a point of saying that he wanted it all to take place at sea, and he had a whole shelf of the books, with post-it notes everywhere, so there are obviously bits from a great many of the books. So the movie has them in the Surprise, not the Sophie. Jack has already met the human Sophie, etc, has presumably been promoted to post captain.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Novato, CA, USA 06-13-05
    Bryan Novato, CA, USA 06-13-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    "Wonderful series"


    Having completed almost the entire series, I can say it is not to be missed. The combined forces of Patrick O'Brien with the materful reading by Patrick Tull has keep me hooked for more than a year. While some may find it drawn out, other, like myself, simply get caught up in its epic character.

    I highly recommend sticking with unabridged versions will Tull reading!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luv2Read 10-05-04
    Luv2Read 10-05-04

    luv2read

    HELPFUL VOTES
    203
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    377
    47
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    2
    0
    Overall
    "outstanding historical acuracy and excitement"

    The setup is a little slow because of the historical accuracy, but once set up you will never be bored. The reading is very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James USA 10-04-04
    James USA 10-04-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    254
    ratings
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    44
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    "Ripping entertainment"

    This is a very richly informed work of fiction. The sheer scale and sweep of the story is sometimes overwhelming and you find yourself rewinding. This is like a piece of extraordinarily dense cheesecake with a very sweet topping. You take it in small bites, then ever larger ones once you have accustomed yourself to its richness. Having adjusted your palette, you wolf down the remaining portion and look round for more. Yes, it really is that kind of book. If you will listen to the sample here, you get an excellent feel for the language. If you can handle hour upon hour of this kind of richness, this is your audiobook. I found the narration a bit overly dramatic in places. Because of the baroque writing style, I think a more sedate tone should have been applied, more relaxed and intellectual. But the British accent is just what the book requires and the reader is quite good in spite of my nitpicking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Maple Grove, MN, USA 10-01-04
    Robert Maple Grove, MN, USA 10-01-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    15
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "I couldn't stop listening to it"

    I decided to give this book a try after seeing the other great reviews. I never thought I'd be listening to historical fiction! If the rest of the series is this great, I'll be listening to them all. An absolutely engaging book, with a first class narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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